Despite the various attempts by Cosimo and Sir Henry to explain how ley lines work, it is still not clear what is required to use them. Are only certain people with some sort of gift able to initiate a jump? Or, is ley jumping a skill that anyone can acquire with practice and knowhow? Some of Cosimo's comments suggest the former, but Wilhelmina is able to make jumps by herself at the novel's conclusion. Hopefully Lawhead will elucidate this mystery in subsequent volumes.
|The Great Fire of London,|
|with Ludgate and Old St. Paul's,|
|ca. 1670, artist unknown.|
Wilhelmina alters history in a different way. Plunked in seventeenth-century Prague with no idea how to return to modern-day London, Wilhelmina makes the best of her situation and attempts to integrate with the local society. However, when the bakery she and her partner operate is faring poorly, she uses her knowledge of modern-day coffee houses to reshape history to her own commercial success. Rather than waiting for coffee houses to evolve in Prague as the taste for coffee slowly spreads across the continent, Wilhelmina determines to start a new type of business from scratch and sends her partner out to find coffee beans. Knowing what a success coffee will ultimately be, Wilhelmina is hardly taking a gamble. The only serious problem is finding enough coffee beans. Lawhead does not treat the morality of Wilhelmina's actions. Other than Burleigh, who appears to have no moral scruples, Wilhelmina has no one with whom to discuss the situation.
Considering how to sum up The Skin Map's philosophy, two quotes come to mind.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Hamlet Act 1, scene 5)
And Cosimo's rebuttal to Kit:
Who's to say the reality in which we find ourselves is the best one possible? (p. 61)
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of The Skin Map from the publisher.
To learn more about the author, visit his website at http://www.stephenlawhead.com/.
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